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September 26, 2019

Santa Catarina to increase Soybean Acreage Decrease Corn Acreage

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

As farmers in the state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil prepare to plant their 2019/20 crops, they are expected to switch some of their full-season corn acreage to soybeans instead. It has been dry for the last three months across the state which has led to very low levels of soil moisture. Therefore, many farmers are waiting for several good rains before they risk planting their summer crops.

Farmers in the state would like to start planting their corn by the end of August, but dry weather has kept the planters out of the field. Some scattered showers are now occurring in the state, but the delay in corn planting has persuaded some farmers to switch to soybeans instead.

According to the Center for Social and Agricultural Planning (Epagri/Cepa), farmers in the state are expected to increase their 2019/20 soybean acreage by 1.0% and their soybean production by 3.7%. They are expecting the soybean yields in the state to increase by 2.6% to 3,600 kg/ha (53.2 bu/ac)

For the full-season corn in the state, they are expecting farmers to reduce their corn acreage by 1% to 342,400 hectares. They are expecting the corn yields to decline 2% resulting in a corn production of 2.8 million tons, which would represent a decline of 3% compared to last year.

This is not good news for the livestock producers in the state. The state of Santa Catarina is the largest hog producing state in Brazil and the second largest poultry producer. The state always has a corn deficit which forces livestock producers to bring in corn from central Brazil at very high transportation costs.

One of the logistical problems facing livestock producers in the state is the fact that there are no railroads connecting central Brazil and Santa Catarina. This forces all the corn to be brought in by truck, which is the most expansive way to transport grain.

In fact, the state has recently signed an accord with Paraguay to start importing corn from southern Paraguay. The distance from southern Paraguay to western Santa Catarina is approximately 500 kilometers as compared to 2,000 kilometers from central Mato Grosso.